Bills keep moving toward governor's desk

By Greg McCortney

Senate Review

I wanted to update you on some of my bills this week, including two that have just been signed into law by Governor Kevin Stitt.

I’m principal Senate author of House Bill 2678, which will reduce health care costs by ensuring all payments made by patients, either directly or on their behalf, will be counted toward their overall out-of-pocket maximum payment or deductible, including coupons to reduce the cost of prescription medications.

The second of my measures signed by the governor is House Bill 1015, which will simply help the Department of Corrections contract for health care services for inmates.

Two more of my measures have now been approved by both chambers and are on their way to the governor’s desk for consideration.

House Bill 2180 makes it easier for legal service plans, like those provided by LegalShield in Ada, to be offered to state employees.

I’m also gratified that House Bill 2566 has been approved by both the House and Senate. This bill would make it much harder for a nursing home to keep families separated from their loved ones should we ever be faced with another statewide emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, I presented two more bills I’m the principal Senate author for, House Bill 2123 and House Bill 2677.

These bills are the product of extensive work involving pharmacies, the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner and the Attorney General to create a better system for dealing with audits that Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) send to pharmacies and the backlog of almost 30,000 complaints about PBMs that have been filed with the Insurance Commissioner.

I worked with the Attorney General and the Insurance Commissioner to further develop these measures as they moved through the Senate, so now they will return to the House for consideration of those changes.

In closing, I want to mention that Wednesday was Executive Assistant’s Day.

Here in the Senate, I am very fortunate to have Chelsea Pinney as my executive assistant. Chelsea is literally on the front lines here at the Capitol, working to keep track of the dozens of bills I author, performing invaluable work supporting my chairmanship of Health and Human Services, helping me organize agendas and ensuring we hit all our deadlines, managing calls, correspondence, appointments, and welcoming visitors.

When constituents reach out for information, help, or to express their views on bills and policies, Chelsea is that critical link to the district. She worked tirelessly during the pandemic helping hundreds of people from Senate District 13 with unemployment issues. If you’ve worked with her, I’m sure you will agree Chelsea is a blessing to this district.

I am honored to serve you in the Oklahoma State Senate. If you have a question about a legislative matter, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (405) 521-5541 or by email at Greg.McCortney@oksenate.gov.

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